Stereoscopic Media


This article was updated on 18 May 2015, and is filed under Uncategorized.

Book, 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences

front cover

One of the administrators of this site, Dr Miriam Ross, has just published a new book on the aesthetics of 3D cinema, 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

When Avatar (2009) became the highest grossing movie of all time, it marked a high point in 3D cinema’s turbulent history. Although 3D cinema draws in box-office takings that surpass 2D cinema, it continuously emerges and disappears as a passing fad. Experiments with 3D moving-images have been with us since the birth of cinema, and it is a form of visual expression already seen by billions of twenty-first century viewers, yet there is little understanding of how 3D cinema operates as an art form. We know that it simultaneously uses depth modes to approximate our visual reality and spectacular effects that go beyond traditional perception, but we do not have an appropriate grasp of its creative function. This book examines 3D cinema’s unique visual regime in order to understand the optical illusions and tactile experiences that it presents.

A table of contents and the opening pages are available here


‘Covering the optical and illusory quality of 3D from its Victorian beginnings to its new digital dominance, Ross presents a new critical perspective on 3D that should be required reading for anyone in the field.’ – Keith M. Johnston, University of East Anglia, UK

‘With 3D Cinema Miriam Ross has finally written the book I’ve been waiting for someone to write for years! This is a masterfully written, thoughtful and thoroughly researched book that provides a rich account of shifts in perception and visuality. Rather than understanding 3D as a phenomenon specific to our digital times, Ross considers its connection to the complex media history of stereoscopic illusions that goes back 200 years. This book is a must read for any serious film and screen scholar!’ – Angela Ndalianis, University of Melbourne, Australia

‘Ross’s trenchant book provides what the digital 3D era has long needed: neither hyperbolic justification nor predictable praise for stereoscopic cinema’s few acknowledged masterpieces, but a sophisticated contribution to cinema aesthetics, in which 3D emerges as a third regime of screen entertainment, and one closely linked to contemporary fascination with bodily experience.’ – Ian Christie, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

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